Saturday, November 8, 2008

Why I Don't Crochet

I shouldn't even be writing this. I decided to take up amirugumi crochet. I've been working on a Princess Leia doll all night. It's not turning out very good but it's my first try. However, after a few hours of this my wrist is juuuuust about ready to fall off. It hurts to type. Somebody just cut my arm off so I can sleep please. At least with knitting it balances between my arms and just causes the occasional tingle. This is full on like when I broke my wrist.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


So I decided to finally bite the bullet a few days ago and make my first pair of socks. I cast off the first one yesterday and that's when I realized I wasn't making socks. I was actually making slippers for my step-mom. See, my sock slipper's cast on was waaay too loose. Note to self: US size 5s are just a smidge too big to be used as a cast on base for a sock slipper made on size 2 needles. Also, if your gauge is off by about 1/8th of an inch you can probably just keep knitting like you normally would. No need to your stitches so loose that the opening ribbing will fall off your ankle. Unless of course, you're knitting slippers for a step-mother who has high blood pressure which causes her ankles to swell up. In that case, feel free to disregard what I just wrote.

Maybe once I finish this pair of socks slippers, I'll make myself a pair that's actually cast on properly and that fits. Maybe.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I want to make a blanket. I have no idea what I want it to look like beyond I'd like it to look cool. I don't know if I want to knit or crochet it. I'm leaning towards something patchwork so I can carry it around. I know I know I know. If I'm going to be doing a patchwork afghan I should totally start crocheting my granny squares again instead of resigning myself to having plush, fuzzy coasters. But it takes a lot of yarn to do those and I can't carry them around easily. So I guess that means I should reball them but I haaate doing that because it means I have to spend a few hours holding an empty water bottle and winding yarn.

So, before I resign myself to a lifetime of granny squares and crochet hooks, are there any suggestions for a nice knitted afghan I could work on? One thing I am considering is making a memory afghan. Whenever something happens I'll knit myself a square commemorating it. But that would be a more long term project than what I'm looking at. So maybe my granny squares and the patchwork at the same time? And when am I ever going to do my socks? Actually, I'm going to do my socks at work (I have a new job as a receptionist and it is AWESOME!) as soon as I finish my mother's birthday scarf or run out of yarn for it and have to go buy more. Stay tuned, same bat time, same bat channel!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Abbr when k

Here's the thing, I have no idea why people on the interwebz use abbreviations when writing knitting patterns. I can understand why it's a good idea (or at least a necessary evil) in print work such as a magazine since they have a limited space to include the maximum amount of patterns and every extra bit of text causes more space and that means extra money.

So I can appreciate the necessity of telling someone to k1p1 w/ 12 rep until 4in then k2tog, turn, rep until * in a magazine. I can even accept it in a book. But on the internet? Let's face it, all the text in this blog so far? Probably hasn't even gotten as far as 10MB worth of storage space. Plus this blog, like so many others is hosted for free. I don't pay a damn penny to do this. Even if I did pay for the space, the effect of writing "knit 2 together" instead of "k2tog" or "k1p1" instead of "work in a 1 by 1 rib" is negligible.

Trust me, I've hosted websites before. You could do an almost infinite amount of text before you really started to run out of anything. It's the images that will screw you over and most blogs aren't shy about them (I'll be hosting images as soon as I either find the camera that has batteries or buy batteries for the camera that does not have them). So why do we persist in using the insane abbreviations in a limitless medium? I can't figure it out. Is it just the force of habit? Is it that we see patterns written that way in magazines and other print sources and assume that's how we're supposed to see them elsewhere?

I do not have the answers necessary for those questions, but I am going to make a conscious effort from now on to write in a legible fashion when posting patterns. For one thing, I have to because I think I knit backwards as a result of my left handedness, so when I k you should p and so on and so forth. It's much easier to say "cable on every 6th row and bobble on every 12th" as opposed to trying to figure out what I'm doing and what you should be doing to replicate it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Knitting Confessions

So here's the thing, if I were to make a list of my knitting skills, I have a lot.

No really, it's true! Think about it, I can:
-Make bobbles
-Knit in the round
-Use DPNs
-Write patterns
-Design garments
-Knit over 500 rows of garter stitch without attempting to stab myself (on that note, I'm over 50% done with the Doctor Who Scarf!)
-Read patterns
-Make ribbing
-"Get" gauge
-Take gauge
-Pick up stitches
-Rescue dropped stitches
-Join wool without tying or weaving in ends
-Sew on decorations
-Crochet two pieces together
-Knit and purl backwards (in pattern!)
-Knit with two different colors of yarn so that one side of the item is patterned one way and the other side has the opposite color scheme

And well, you get the idea. Don't get me wrong, there are still lots of things I'd like to learn to do. For one thing, I'm hoping to get up the balls to make a pair of socks this week. It's mostly the heel-turning that's flustering me, plus the fact that I don't know how much yarn I'll need to cover my feet. If I were being totally honest, it would be the yarn more than anything. I'd also like to make a wedding ring shawl before I get married, but first I need to master the finer points of lace. I am okay with that. I think learning things makes us grow as people. But if I were being really really honest, there is one thing I can't do that I'd desperately like to do and that I am bothered by not knowing:
Which stitch is knit and which is purl.

Don't get me wrong, I can perform both. I can perform both in a pattern. I can do both backwards and forwards! But I can never remember which one is which. Whenever I am reading a pattern, I have to grab one of my knitting books (lately it's been Knitting Without Tears by Maggie Righetti, primarily because I haven't finished it so it's sitting next to my it's illustrated) and go back and read the section where either knitting or purling is described. Immediately afterwards, I forget which is which and only remember what the stitch for the pattern is. This is an absolutely idiotic failing on my part. Who can't keep two simple little stitches straight?! I'm doing a scarf for my mother right now that involves cabling every six rows and bobbling every 12 rows and I don't even need to use a row counter! But I still for the life of me cannot remember whether the forward stitch is knit or the backward one.

That is my True Knitting Confession. What's yours?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Yarn stores and such

So here's the thing, sometimes I get bored. I know I know, shocking, right? Anyway, when I get bored I knit. Well, usually I knit just in general. But when I'm bored I do it more. When I first moved to Texas, I was bored a lot. So I taught my step-siblings to knit. All three of them. The oldest boy and the girl got bored and quit pretty soon, but the 9 year old boy took a real shining to it. I had assumed he'd get bored soonish, so I had just given him a cheap red acrylic I had on hand. Well, he kept at it. Every time he was here since the first day he just kept on at it. I finally took him to the LYS. Primarily because once he found out it existed, he begged for a week. He had a great time. There were a few moments in time where I probably could have traded him for a nice sweater. I was sorely tempted.

He was actually the only child I saw there who was actually knitting. There was another little boy who was picking out yarn for a hat, but my step-brother was the only one who was actually sitting and knitting and looking at patterns he could make. He also helped me pick out yarn for my mother's birthday present. So I came up with a pretty cool scarf pattern I'll be posting as soon as my camera is working again. It's a scarf, because my mother actually went to Denver last week and didn't bring any winter clothes at all. She's brilliant.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Knitting in public

Alright, I'm going to come out here as being a public knitter. I knit in public. At the doctor's office, in line at the bank, in the middle of the grocery store, I knit wherever and whenever. I banged out a huge stripe on the Doctor Who Scarf in the middle of the new Batman movie. Now, I know a lot of people don't KIP because they get worried people will stare. I'm here to tell you that people DO stare. But usually, they ask you what you're making. Occasionally, someone will ask you if that's crochet (yeah, I don't know. I guess they pick the more obscure term because they think it will make them sound smarter?). Once in a waiting room I had a woman come across and sit next to me to watch what I was doing. In general, though, most people don't seem to notice. There are starers but if you make eye contact they'll either ask a question or stop staring for awhile. My former GP used to tell me stories about friends who knit whenever I'd come in.

I think it's odd that my experiences with the noble act of public knitting vary so far from the accounts I've read online and in books about knitting. In the book Stitch n Bitch (excellent and you should read it right now) the author says she's stared at like she was "churning butter on the midtown bus." The Yarn Harlot had a woman insist she was crocheting and after being corrected the woman insisted she knew the difference. I wonder if perhaps the fact that until recently I lived in a small conservative town (I have recently moved to another small conservative town but I digress). I do wonder why it might be and if knitting's exposure has really been increased so much in recent years or what. Maybe when I'm less tired I'll really examine that.